T.S. Eliot was right; April really is the cruellest month. Its unpredictable weather patterns make planning a day's outfit almost impossible - it's 5 degrees when you leave the house and almost 20 by mid-afternoon, that's if the day doesn't turn into a complete washout by elevenses. Luckily some smart layering with the right pieces can help you overcome even the most cruel of spring days.
With the season's erratic outlook in mind, Fern and I took the opportunity to explore Sheffield on a quiet bank holiday Monday morning. When we set out, a bitter wind was blowing and the sky was threatening rain. Typical. I really wanted to put the new Churchill Reefer from Gloverall to the test so I layered it on top of a well worn denim jacket and a signature blue oxford (I have other colour shirts, honestly). Perfect layering for keeping the wind out and easy to break down if the temperature changed. It didn't.
We soon found ourselves in the shadow of Sheffield's most iconic building - The University Arts Tower. Designed in 1961 by Gollins, Melvin, Ward & Partners and standing 20 stories high, and until recently the tallest building in the city. Widely understood to be influenced by van der Rohe’s 1958 New York Seagrams Building, the Arts Tower and adjoining Western Bank library (opened by the very same T.S. Eliot in 1959) mix brutalist concrete piers and pillars with Miesian modernist glass facades in perfect harmony. It's blogger photo heaven but thats enough geeking out over the buildings.
If you're a long time reader of The All Night Listening Post, you'll know I have an obsession with outerwear - Jackets, overcoats, mountain shirts, technical, old school, lightweight and heavyweight - the possibilities for layering are endless. Maybe that's why I love winter so much. Despite my myriad addiction, there's one coat that I've been in persistent pursuit of - the perfect peacoat. I've been on the hunt for something special for a while now and I've always eyed Gloverall's offering longingly. When they got in touch to talk jackets, I knew the perfect piece for me.
The Churchill, named after our erstwhile Prime Minister, is a modern take on the classic Naval Officer's Pea Coat. Well-made in England of a 80% wool melton cloth, it's fully satin lined with four pockets: two hand-warmer and two patch. With Gloverall's rich heritage dating back to before the Second World War and their reputation for quality, I'm confident it's going to be a staple piece for many years to come. Its also going to keep my layering options versatile on all but the balmiest of spring days.
If you've found the perfect layering solution to battle the spring weather, I'd love to hear about it.